Letter to the editor: God bless Elizabeth Warren

Posted:  Friday, February 10, 2017 - 4:30pm

Why does Mitch McConnell continually challenge me to cling to my Republican credentials? It's astonishing enough, and speaks poorly of the people of Kentucky, that this vacuous man, who has for years impersonated a thoughtful, conscientious and deliberative member of Congress, has been re-elected let alone that he has been elected Majority Leader.

I am ashamed of my party, most of whom lined up to support his candidacy even though, as spokesman for a political philosophy that once concerned itself with addressing the nation's problems, could think of nothing more constructive for himself and his Republican colleagues to do on the occasion of Obama's election than to devote themselves to being nothing more than obstructionists.

And in that they have succeeded and cannot claim credit for much else.

Now he's had the temerity to invoke Senate Rule 19 to deny Elizabeth Warren, one of our nation's most honorable and conscientious public servants, the opportunity to read, in opposition to Jeff Sessions nomination as attorney general, into the record the testimony of Coretta Scott King when, in 1986, she opposed his nomination to be a federal judge.

Rule 19, adopted because two senators once got into a fistfight and very badly worded, forbids any member of the U.S. Senate from 'imputing to another, conduct unworthy of becoming a Senator.'

The effect is pretty chilling. If, for example, the day before a Senate nominee's confirmation to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, he was discovered to be in possession of child pornography, a fellow Senator who brought that information to the attention of congress could be found in violation of Rule 19 and held in contempt.

And Mitch McConnell could be relied upon to invoke that rule if it interfered with a Republican, regardless of deficiencies, being nominated for anything at all. God bless Elizabeth Warren.

Phil Crossman lives on Vinalhaven